Buying a home use to be a long-term goal for many people till a year ago, but now it has become a priority. Everyone is thinking of buying their own house as soon as possible. Normally a house is such an investment, on which decision is taken after years of thinking and research. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the scenario altogether. The increase in time spent in the home due to it has given rise to a new thought and situation. The house is often in the name of the male of the family. Changing times have changed this social practice. According to a survey by property consultancy firm Anarock –
Women’s preference for real estate has risen post-COVID-19 – from 57% votes in the pre-COVID survey to 62% in the current edition.
Taking steps in this direction, the regulators and policy makers have introduced several concessions to make the financial assistance to women investors easily. Due to this, if a house is taken in the name of a female member of the family, following three benefits can be availed:
1. Low Interest Rate – While applying for a home loan, the rate of interest plays a major role. At times the dream to possess a house remains a dream only just because of the high rate of interest charged. However, the hack is, Housing finance institutes keep interest rates for women 0.5 -5% lower than rates for others. Some housing finance companies have also created special loan schemes according to the purpose and income of women. A 0.5 -5% discount does matter a lot in the case of a loan. Hence, a reason and benefit to register the property in name of women.
2. Tax Exemption – Additional tax benefits can be taken on the family’s income by taking a loan in the name of a woman or in joint ownership. If the source of income of the wife is different, then both husband and wife can take tax on paying instalments. Leading to double tax benefit without additional investment. Additionally if the property is self-occupied, and on the name of a women, deduction for interest paid on the housing loan can be claimed maximum up to Rs. 2 Lakhs every financial year.
3. Stamp Duty Exemption – Many states give exemption in stamp duty on registration of property in the name of women. In some states of North India, including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Haryana the rate of registry fee for women is almost 2-3% lower than the rate of registry fee prescribed for men. Lower stamp duty acts as a huge relief to buyers especially middle class of the society who saves from long time back or take loan to buy a house.
Note: These benefits are not only for home buyers but also applicable on purchase of property in general when made in name of women.
Having a house in one’s own name is also a medium of empowerment for the female member of the family. This will not only give them confidence but can also prove to be a source of income in future. This is being encouraged by the government’s flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) launched in 2015. This scheme aims to provide affordable houses to people belonging to the economically weaker section of the country. In lieu of this, it provides attractive home loan subsidy and tax benefits. From the perspective of women empowerment, PMAY mandates ownership or co-ownership of property in the name of a female member of the family.
Such policies not only empower women but also boost self-confidence and respect in society. This is an appreciable step taken by the government and its implementation has been successful so far.